Apprentices: 'My friends are jealous of my position'

#InspiringApprentices: Matthew Newman says more of his peers would choose apprenticeships if only they knew the benefits

Matthew Newman

#InspiringApprentices: 'My friends are jealous of my position'

My name is Matthew Newman, I am 21 years old and I started my professional career as an apprentice with United Utilities in Warrington, Cheshire. During my time on scheme as an apprentice, I gained two level 3 qualifications in business administration and CIPD. I completed these in July 2018 and I am currently in the process of enrolling on to a level 4 qualification in project management.

I first found out about the possibility of doing an apprenticeship during my last year of school. Although I didn’t take the decision to pursue the apprenticeship route straight from school, once I completed college I decided that an apprenticeship was my best route.

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During school and college, I was not highly informed of apprenticeships and how good they are, which was a shame as I feel a lot more people would have benefited and chosen the apprenticeship route if they were aware of the perks.

When I started my apprenticeship, I expected my role to be the exact same as any kind of office job. I didn’t have any false pretence that I would be treated any differently and once I started with the company my expectations were confirmed.

Day to day, my job varies massively. Some days I find myself in back-to-back meetings, others I’m out on site and working with our new apprentice and graduate cohorts or sometimes, I am fully focused on the objectives and projects that I am in charge of.

Although the job can be stressful from time to time, it is a good stress, which helps the best of my ability shine through. I love my job and the people I work with and I couldn’t be happier that my apprenticeship gave me this opportunity.

The benefits of an apprenticeship

I couldn’t thank my line manager and colleagues more for the support they provided to me while I was on scheme and even now after completion. They really believe in apprenticeships and the benefits they offer and even support me with my role as Young Apprentice Ambassador Network chair for the North West.

My favourite part of my role is supporting and shaping the current graduate and apprentices programmes in UK to constantly make improvements to give our new graduates and apprentices the best experience while they’re with us.

A lot of my friends and family members who have taken alternate routes such as university and full-time employment are very jealous of my current position. They still can’t believe that I am earning a stable wage for my age while gaining qualifications at the same time. 

My family and friends were supportive of me taking an apprenticeship route. Neither of my parents went to university but have both ended up being highly successful and they feel I could follow in their footsteps thanks to the benefits my apprenticeship has offered.

Now my apprenticeship has been completed, my manager constantly talks to me about future progression and development. As mentioned earlier, she is already enrolling me on a course in further education to help further my career and is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities for me.

In 10 years’ time, I hopefully will be a successful project manager within the organisation or go down the people manager route in the organisation and look after my own team within the company.

Due to completing my apprenticeship and knowing the benefits it has had to me as an individual, I would fully recommend anyone to at least take a further look into apprenticeships and see if there is anything they fancy. I can promise they won’t regret it.

Matthew Newman has completed two level 3 qualifications in business administration and CIPD at United Utilities

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